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Opportunity Youth: Disenfranchised Young People

Opportunity Youth: Disenfranchised Young People

There are also

There are also empowerment movements that use the social action model, aiming for disadvantaged people to become empowered, organized, and educated so that they may create change. These programs advocate for constructive confrontations to enhance the social power of people who are considered disadvantaged. Another model is the 5C's model that focuses on emphasizing competence, confidence, connection, character and caring. A sixth C of contribution to society was later added. This model focuses primarily on engagement as a key marker of positive youth development, emphasizing the need to foster initiative. Youth-adult partnerships are another type of empowerment method used around the world. This method has been defined as a developmental process and a community practice. The partnership involves people of different ages working together on community issues over a period of time. The method emphasizes reciprocity among adults and youth with a focus on shared decision making and reflective learning. The concept of shared control is key for empowering youth. Youth empowerment has also been used as a framework to prevent and reduce youth violence. Research shows that these youth empowerment programs can improve conflict avoidance and resolution skills, increase group leadership skills, and civic efficacy and improve ethnic identity and reduce racial conflict. Examples of Youth Empowerment Programs Around the globe there are various empowerment programs focused on a wide variety of things and this is not a comprehensive list. Unsuccessful youth empowerment programs have not been carefully documented or published in case studies. In Namibia, one popular empowerment program is Pots of Hope. Pots of Hope's main goal is to reduce the vulnerability youth to HIV and Aids through education, information and awareness, as well as income security projects. Pots of Hope works by educating, and providing counseling to those in rural settings who do not have access to those resources. This program focuses on organizational empowerment within the community. Within the United States there are countless empowerment programs for youth. Urban 4-H is a culturally responsive, community-based practice that authentically engages families, youth and the community in the development of youth. Urban 4-H is an example of community empowerment that focuses on the economic and social dimensions of empowerment. The program helps youth build skills to enable them to overcome economic and social barriers while recognizing the importance of selfdirected learning for youth. Urban 4-H focuses on empowering youth to think critically, communicate across cultural boundaries and lead others. The United Nations has numerous development programs, one of them being youth empowerment programs. The United Nations provides support to national policy development surrounding empowerment within the five regions. They do this by providing evidence-based policy guidance and programmatic support by promoting the active participation of youth in society. The UNDP promotes inclusive youth participation Page 24 of 72

in effective and democratic governance, economic empowerment of youth, strengthened youth engagement in building resilience in their communities, inclusion of youth in the future development agenda, including through consultations and discussions. The United Nations youth empowerment programs examine all four dimensions of youth empowerment and seeks to improve all of them. USAID has youth empowerment programs set up around the world that are aimed at civic engagement, access to resources and opportunities for education and employment. Government Involvement In Empowerment Youth empowerment is often addressed as a gateway to intergenerational equity, civic engagement and democracy building. Local, state, provincial, regional, national, and international government agencies and nonprofit community-based organizations provide programs centered on youth empowerment. Activities involved therein may focus on youth-led media, youth rights, youth councils, youth activism, youth involvement in community decision-making, and other methods. Each major political party in the United States, including the Republicans, the Democrats, and the Green Party, as well as several major European, African, South American (Peru), and Australian political parties have statements supporting youth empowerment. Youth empowerment is also a central tenet of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which every country in the world (minus the United States and South Sudan) has signed into law. United States Youth empowerment occurs in homes, at schools, through youth organizations, government policy-making and community organizing campaigns. Major structural activities where youth empowerment happens throughout society include community decision-making, organizational planning, and education reform. Page 25 of 72

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